See your site from the search engine view. Sign up for a free website crawl today!

SEO Guides, Tips & More!

Learn from Our Experience

Technical Tuesday – March 2016

     -     Mar 15th, 2016   -     Search Engine Optimization   -     0 Comments

InDesign Tips & Tricks: Create a PDF with Clickable Hyperlinks

As a marketer I’m sure you often have requests to create collateral for various personnel or departments of your firm. I’m also sure that the created collateral contains the firm’s website as well as an email address for direct contact with a specific person. Are you aware that you can actually make these elements clickable so that the recipient of the PDF file can click within the PDF to take immediate action? It can be done using hyperlinks. Hyperlinks make it possible to link text within your design to URLs and emails, and even other documents.

InDesign hyperlinks can be confusing, frustrating and even intimidating if you’re just trying to figure things out intuitively, so let’s take a closer look at how to create hyperlinks in InDesign and export them into interactive PDFs. Using the below steps, you’ll learn what you need to know to successfully create hyperlinks and become a marketing superstar.

  • Create a new document with text in a frame or open an existing document that is already designed and includes text.
    Once the document is open, find that area of body text that contains the text (web address or email) that you want to add a hyperlink to.
  • Choose Window > Interactive > Hyperlinks to open the Hyperlinks panel.

Step 2

  • Use the Text tool to select some text.
    Select the text that you want to make into a hyperlink.

Step 3


  • Click the Create New Hyperlink button at the bottom of the Hyperlinks panel.
    The New Hyperlink dialog box opens. Make sure that URL is selected in the Type drop-down list.

Step 4


  • Type a URL in the URL text field, if necessary.
    When you click the “Create new hyperlink” button at the bottom of the Hyperlinks panel, it should autofill the below window. If it does not, simply enter the text that the web page URL should link to. In my below example, it should link to “”. Make sure that it’s a complete URL and includes the “http://”. This form field also accepts “mailto:” actions if you have an email address selected that you want to create an e-mail link for. Simply enter an e-mail address, such as “”, in the URL text field.Regarding the “Character Style” leave it set to “Hyperlink” and for “PDF Appearance” leave the “Type” set to “Invisible Rectangle” so that when the PDF is opened, there won’t be a rectangle around your link. “Highlight” should also be set to “None”.

Step 5Step 5-2


  • Click OK.
    The dialog box closes and the links will become active when you export as a PDF. Do note that there is now a rule under the linked text and the color of your text has changed to “Hyperlink” because you activated a link. Obviously this can adjust a design that you worked hard to produce. The rule must stay, but the “Hyperlink” color can easily be edited by selecting your linked text and changing it’s color by using your swatches palette.

Step 6
Step 6-2


  • Export as a PDF file.Step 7
    When you export the document as a PDF, the newly linked text becomes clickable hyperlinks. To achieve this, go to File > Export and you’ll get a pop-up window. At the bottom of the window where you select “Format”, choose “Interactive PDF” file type. Then appropriately name your file and click “Save”. You will then get another pop-up window as seen below. The settings in my pop-up are what I typically use, but you can feel free to adjust the resolution if you need your file to be smaller as a high resolution PDF is a larger file size than a 72 dpi PDF. Once you have your settings adjusted as you need, click “OK” and the PDF will render and should automatically open in Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Professional depending on your level of software.
  • Check your work.
    As a final step, it’s always a good idea to double-check your work to ensure that the links you have embedded are working and point to the correct websites and email addresses.



Now that you understand how to create hyperlinks in InDesign, practice and have fun applying these techniques to your firm’s next Interactive PDF project. If you’d like to know more or if there is something InDesign-specific you’d like me to discuss or write about, please let me know. Contact me, I’m always happy to help.

Latest Tweets